I’ve been crying a lot lately.
And I want that stated like a fact, like odontophobia is the fear of teeth and the pancreas produces insulin. You’re not sorry that the pancreas produces insulin, so don’t permit yourself a negative reaction to me crying a lot. It’s just how it is. 1 in 5000 north Atlantic lobsters are born blue. Blue is how things are sometimes.
I’m not a very good hysterical sobber. Rather, I purse my lips and rivulets of tears stream down my cheeks. I seem to be crying a lot in the morning when I’m sitting zazen and I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I mean, I let thoughts come and go and return to my breath. Does the same go for tears? Do I just let them fall or wipe them away? I’ve been letting them be. They tickle my face, splash my mudra.
I want to tell you about cutting the green beans but I’m not sure what they mean. I knew when I was cutting them that I would remember them forever. Does that happen to you? The absentminded flow of the day compresses into a vibrant pause and you become aware of yourself as this impossible being in an impossible world doing impossible things. In this case, cutting green beans. You’re not a tree in the Black Forest. You’re not a Japanese boy petting a 3-legged yellow dog. Held in the tension between nothing and anything, there you are, a man cutting green beans.
When I’m lucky enough to stumble into such a radical perspective of myself, it’s always accompanied by the rare sensation—rare in my case—that things are absolutely perfect as they are, that, if I was granted the opportunity to change something right then, anything, I wouldn’t because I intuitively know the earth would derail and crash into the sun.
Because the world, right then, depends on me cutting green beans. The world, right then, hinges on the woman at the stove.
It’s shining in a world revealed in this way that cuts deep memories and lays the ground for the rarest form of contentment. To be what you are, informed by words like fate and destiny—necessary. But then, and this is beautiful somehow in a way I don’t quite understand, cutting the green beans, no longer a source of contentment, becomes the reason I’ve been crying a lot.
Those moments, those vibrant pauses wherein all the pieces fit in the necessary way, are turtles lumbering across the busy road. Contentment is an ice cube on the sun beaten sidewalk. And then you cry. You cry in the shower, when you’re pushing a grocery cart, when you walk through doorways, you cry. And by crying, crying a lot, the act of crying is raised above merely being a reaction to sadness and something that needs to stop. No. Crying is a way to be, how things are awhile; it’s your wondrous turn to be a blue lobster.